Saber for Aerospace Systems: Achieving Robust Design Flow

Synopsys Editorial Staff

Aug 07, 2023 / 4 min read

Saber Accelerates Robust Design

Developing reliable aerospace systems that meet performance objectives is a growing challenge for design teams.

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System complexity and stringent regulations drive the development process. System engineers must optimize their designs for three key factors: performance, reliability, and cost. Robust Design methodologies provide the techniques for ensuring system reliability despite variations in design parameters and operating conditions. Synopsys’ industry leading Saber design environment is a complete toolset for implementing a Robust Design flow. Advanced analyses and comprehensive model libraries enable the design of complete aerospace systems. Saber tools are used in a variety of aerospace design applications. 


Power Network: Generation, Conversion & Distribution
As electronic content in aircraft and spacecraft increases, so do the challenges in meeting this rising energy demand on the power network. Designers must create efficient power generation and distribution systems that perform with flawless reliability.

Design teams use Robust Design methodologies to manage complex energy generation and distribution problems, such as designing an alternator charging system or taking into account system and environmental variations that affect performance. Saber's comprehensive simulation, modeling resources, and analysis capabilities enable design teams to deploy Robust Design methods to meet the challenges of powernet design.

Saber Advantages

  • Accurately size system components to match energy generation with corresponding consumption
  • Eliminate surprises in power network loading and distribution through early verification
  • Test the complete system earlier with hardware/software co-simulation
  • Save time and eliminate errors with industry-proven power model libraries
  • Enable design portability using industry standard VHDL-AMS & MAST languages
  • Maximize reliability with advanced sensitivity, statistical, and fault analyses
  • Increase analysis throughput with distributed simulations across multiple CPUs

Avionics Network

Aerospace avionics networks provide CAN-based communication channels for systems that control flight, improve performance, ensure safety, and provide passenger comfort. Network reliability is critical to robust aerospace craft operation, requiring verification of the network’s logical and physical layers. While logical layer design and verification can begin early in the design process, physical layer verification has traditionally required hardware prototypes and is often delayed until late in the development cycle. Complex networks, however, require early physical layer verification. Avionics engineers are turning to Robust Design methodologies, coupled with modeling and simulation, to meet physical layer verification objectives.

Saber’s comprehensive analog and mixed-signal simulation and modeling capabilities, coupled with well-defined Robust Design methodologies, create a standalone environment for verifying the physical layer of avionics networks. Engineers develop network designs with transceiver and controller models from the Saber library. Using Saber’s comprehensive time domain, frequency domain, and statistical analyses, the network’s physical layer is verified long before a hardware prototype is available.

Saber Advantages:

  • Verify network concepts and topologies early in the development cycle
  • Analyze network variants, including min vs. max number of ECUs
  • Analyze impact of topology types and EMC protection on signal integrity
  • Include wire characteristics in system simulations to analyze possible topology extensions
  • Model and characterize aerospace communication networks using industry standard VHDL-AMS & MAST modeling languages
  • Verify nominal network performance using standard analyses and ensure reliability with advanced sensitivity, statistical analysis, WCA and fault simulations
  • Increase analysis throughput with distributed simulations across multiple CPUs

Flight Control

Modern aerospace craft depend on fly-by-wire technology to control flight. Fly-by-wire technology combines flight computers with control sensors and actuators in a complex Mechatronic system. Design teams must analyze the flight control system as a whole to verify interactions between control surfaces, and understand how variations in design and environmental parameters affect performance and reliability. System complexity requires Robust Design methodologies coupled with systems simulation to verify correct and reliable operation.

Synopsys’ Saber design environment combines advanced, comprehensive analyses with the industry’s leading model library to meet the challenges of aerospace flight control design. From architecture level to physics based modeling of real world devices, and simple operating point to complex statistical analyses, design teams can analyze flight control systems to ensure nominal function and confirm robust operation across a variety of operating conditions.

Saber Advantages:

  • Create flight control system designs using models from the industry’s largest Mechatronics model library
  • Analyze systems at the component, sub-system, or system level
  • Optimize cost, performance, and reliability with advanced stress, sensitivity, and statistical analyses
  • Include wire characteristics in system simulations to analyze possible topology extensions
  • Model complex flight control functions using industry standard VHDL-AMS & MAST modeling languages
  • Verify hardware/software interaction with co-simulation
  • Increase analysis throughput with distributed simulations across multiple CPUs

Wire Harness

The wire harness forms the backbone of the entire electrical system of automotive and aerospace vehicles. The correct and reliable implementation of the wire harness represents one of the most expensive and technically challenging aspects of vehicle systems design. SaberES Designer provides proven design and verification capabilities in conjunction with the Saber Simulator to create correct-by-design wire harnesses. Designers can create schematic drawings and connectivity diagrams, export component and wire data, import geometry information from MCAD tools, simulate electrical functions, create bundles with connector positions and generate data for manufacturing – all within an easy-to-use design tool.

Saber Advantages:

  • Analyze electrical systems before layout and manufacturing to avoid system failure in production
  • Provides an integrated data flow for electrical system design from concept to manufacturing
  • Minimizes data entry and manual checking tasks, automates data processing steps while maintaining data integrity
  • Integrate with popular 3D CAD tools (Catia V5, UGS, Pro/E)
  • Supports team and concurrent engineering working methods, saving valuable design time and maintaining data integrity
  • Verify hardware/software interaction with co-simulation
  • Provides an easy-to-use design editor


The Saber design environment from Synopsys stands as a robust and comprehensive solution for the design and analysis of aerospace systems. Equipped with advanced analyses, model libraries, and simulation capabilities, it empowers design teams to optimize the performance, reliability, and cost of their systems, successfully overcoming the escalating challenges in aerospace design. Saber tools find application in diverse areas such as powernet design, avionics network verification, flight control system analysis, and wire harness design & simulation. These tools provide a plethora of benefits like early verification, system-level testing, error elimination, design portability, reliability maximization, and increased analysis throughput. By integrating Robust Design methodologies with the Saber environment, engineers are positioned to effectively meet their design objectives and ensure the reliability of their aerospace systems.

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